Southern Oregon University has awarded its 2011 President's Medal to Ashland residents Jerry and Jeanne Taylor, creators of the Taylor Family Foundation and active supporters of SOU and many Rogue Valley organizations.

Southern Oregon University has awarded its 2011 President's Medal to Ashland residents Jerry and Jeanne Taylor, creators of the Taylor Family Foundation and active supporters of SOU and many Rogue Valley organizations.

The presentation was made Sunday, May 22, at a surprise event for the Taylors at SOU's Plunkett Center.

Jerry Taylor is the former senior vice president and chief financial officer of Applied Materials, a leader in semiconductor fabrication systems and service for the semiconductor industry. After retirement, the Taylors moved from the Silicon Valley to Ashland and became involved in local philanthropic work.

The Taylors have helped raise money for SOU in support of Hannon Library, the Schneider Museum of Art, Chamber Music Concerts, the Raider Club, the RCC/SOU Higher Education Center and the SOU Annual Fund. They also support music scholarships at SOU. The Taylors contribute in other ways, as well. Jeanne has served on the SOU President's Advisory Board, and Jerry has been a member of the Foundation Board.

The Taylors also are active supporters of many Rogue Valley organizations. Jeanne has been a supporter and board member of the Ashland YMCA, and the Taylors have become very supportive of La Clinica, Community Works, the Children's Advocacy Center and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where Jerry is past president of the OSF Foundation.

Established in 1984, the President's Medal is given each year to a person (or in rare instances, a company) whose exemplary service to the university, the region and the greater community represents qualities such as compassion, integrity and service.